National Geographic : 1972 Jan
Baby strollers hook a ride on Christchurch buses (above)-a convenience for mothers in keeping with the city's relaxed and pleasurable way of life. The shady Avon River winds through a downtown park, inviting Sunday dalliance in kayaks (below). Like living palettes, private gardens blaze with color in spring, summer, and fall, belying Christ church's bleak origins in 1850. The site of the city, writes New Zealander Denis Glover, was "the most miasmal part of the Canterbury Plains," beset with "bog, fog, and mud." But Christchurch burgeoned after its dismal start. Now enthusiastic homeowners regularly vie for best-garden and best-street acco lades in a city abloom.